In a recent court ruling in the lawsuit between Environmental Transportation of Nevada, LLC (ETON) versus Komatsu America Corp., Komatsu Equipment Company (KEC), and Modern Machinery Co., Inc. of Rochester, WA. (part of a large consortium of privately held companies collectively known as the Washington Companies), regarding contributory negligence in the destruction of a bridge over Interstate 5 in Washington State, the summary judgment motion from Modern Machinery was denied along with Komatsu indemnity claims. One separate motion for summary judgment against ETON’s claims was granted. The United States Federal Court Judge has determined that there are material facts in question as to the Washington Companies division’s actions that need to be determined by a jury, thus clearing the way for a trial.
On July 20, 2016, a semi-truck hauling a pair of Komatsu excavators hit the overpass spanning Interstate 5 near Chehalis, WA, causing significant structural damage leading to a lawsuit between Environmental Transportation of Nevada, LLC (ETON) versus Komatsu America Corp., Komatsu Equipment Company (KEC) and Modern Machinery Co., Inc. of Rochester, WA.
The suit alleges that Komatsu America’s agent Modern Machinery failed to load the excavators properly and in accordance with Komatsu’s published shipping dimensions for the equipment under transport. ETON alleges that the knowing failure to load pursuant to the manufacturer recommendations was the cause of the accident and damage to the bridge.
During deposition, testimony revealed the possibility of two different Modern Machinery incident reports – one created by an employee and one later created by management. ETON will continue to use the issue of multiple reports as part of the case presentation for the jury.
Modern Machinery is a part of a large consortium of privately held companies collectively known as the Washington Companies, owned by billionaire Dennis R. Washington. Modern Machinery sells and rents high quality heavy equipment and provides product support to the construction, mining, and forestry industries. The Modern Machinery terminal in Rochester, WA is a home to a large staging area for a variety of Komatsu products brought from overseas awaiting shipment to other Komatsu dealers.
ETON is a Las Vegas-based premier transportation company serving the Western United States with equipment, professional drivers and superior on-time service.
Komatsu America Corp. is a U.S. subsidiary of Komatsu Ltd., the world’s second largest manufacturer and supplier of earth-moving equipment, consisting of construction, mining and compact construction equipment.